Tag Archives: Scholastic Book Clubs

See What’s New for ClassroomsCare Spring 2011!

31 Jan

You may have noticed some changes to this spring’s ClassroomsCare program. Teachers told us they were having a difficult time getting full participation in the reading challenge during the busy spring semester, so we decided to make it easier for you. This March, just place a classroom order, and Scholastic Book Clubs will donate a book to a wonderful literacy and mentoring organization called Everybody Wins! USA.

Scholastic Book Clubs encourages its employees to get involved with local schools in the New York area; so when I began working here two years ago, I knew I’d volunteer my time and services, but where? When a colleague asked me if I wanted to volunteer for the Everybody Wins! Power Lunch Program, I immediately looked into the literacy and mentoring program and was impressed. Two independent evaluations by the US Department of Education, and Loyola University of Chicago, documented the positive impact the program has had on low-income elementary school students nationwide. Their reading comprehension, general motivation and overall academic performance, classroom behavior, self confidence and social skills all improved as a result of this one-on-one mentoring program.

What began for me as a once-a-week commitment to making a difference in a child’s life has grown into a flourishing partnership for both of us. Nearly two years later, I’m still meeting my buddy, Linda, for our lunchtime reading sessions at her lower Manhattan Public School. We have a great time choosing books to read together, working on writing and other activities, and chatting.

Interested in learning more about Everybody Wins!, please visit everybodywins.org

Scholastic Special: Reach Out and Read!

18 Nov

Did you know that every November, Scholastic offers a very special catalog specifically aimed at providing great reading materials for the youngest readers? It’s true! We’ve partnered with Reach Out and Read, a nonprofit organization dedicated to preparing young children to succeed in schools by working with doctors to prescribe books and encourage families to read together.  With our special Reach Out and Read! offer, we hope to not only provide your child with the best literature for the season, but also for children in need as well. With every item you order from this catalog, Scholastic will donate one book to Reach Out and Read’s worthy organization.  It’s that simple!

Some very special titles that we’re excited about are:

Let’s Get a Checkup!

 

Pascal Lemaitre (of Firefighter Ted fame) is fast becoming one of our favorite illustrators, and this collaboration with author Alan Katz makes for a funny and informative animal story about going to the doctor!

Alexander and the Wind-Up Mouse

One of my all-time favorite stories about a little mouse and his wish for a real friend. We love author/illustrator Leo Lionni!

Christmas with You

This is a very sweet holiday story that’s great for introducing family traditions during the season—a fantastic read-aloud!

Disney Classic Pooh: Mind Your Manners

Winnie-the-Pooh has been invited to a party, but can he use good manners to get along with others? A sweet manners lesson featuring classic Winnie-the-Pooh illustrations.

Knees and Toes!

Follow the teddy bears as they teach you about your head, shoulders, knees, and toes! Includes tabbed pages for easy turn-the-page fun for the littlest of learners.

For more reading tips and information about this great organization, visit www.reachoutandread.org. What do you and your child do as part of your reading routine?

Putting Kids on a Pathway to Success

15 Nov


New data released by the Census Bureau in October revealed that 43 million Americans are now living in poverty, the largest figure since the Bureau began collecting this information.

Incredibly, the one group of Americans bearing the brunt of this crisis is children. According to the new statistics, 15 million American children are living in poverty, many of whom are falling behind because they aren’t getting the same opportunities to succeed as other children. You may be surprised to learn that half of all low-income fourth graders are not reading at grade level. Books are essential for learning and development, but 60 percent of children in poverty have no age-appropriate books in their homes.

Save the Children’s U.S. Programs work to break the cycle of poverty by tapping into the power of public-private partnerships and giving children access to the resources they need to change their circumstances, such as a quality education, supportive instructors, and essential books for learning.

Through the support of the Scholastic Book Clubs’ Classrooms Care campaign and our longtime partnerships with local schools and communities, Save the Children has been able to provide kids living in some of the most impoverished areas of the United States with more than 2.5 million books during the past 20 years.

Our partnership works. Kids read an average of 64 books throughout the school year in our literacy programs and the percentage of children reading at or above grade level nearly doubled from the start of the school year to the end.

Education is the vehicle out of poverty. By providing kids with the tools to learn now we’re setting them on the pathway to lifelong success. America’s future depends on the investment we make in education today.

Mark Shriver
Senior Vice President for U.S. Programs
Save the Children
Photo Credit: Save the Children/Susan Warner

We Listen to You…All of You!

8 Nov

It’s simple, really. We work in our offices in Soho (great neighborhood!) in the lovely New York City, but you are our eyes and ears into the classroom. Scholastic Book Clubs really thinks of parents and teachers as partners—we’re all in it to help children across America find books they can’t wait to read.

So we tout our customer service phone numbers and e-mails on every catalog and online,

AND we even include an e-mail address for our President, Judy Newman, so that you can write to her with any book recommendations or suggestions (judy.newman@scholastic.com). Comments like yours have made changes. No more service fees, unlimited enabling of catalogs online, Bonus Points (for teachers) starting at $1…and so much more.

In fact, I had the privilege of speaking to two teachers on Friday who had called customer service teams earlier in the week. (Yes, we care so much about what you have to say that we review comments and e-mails originally directed to our customer service team.)  These two early childhood directors had said that their parents weren’t ordering online (“jumped on the bandwagon” as one of them put it) and didn’t know why. So I spoke to them about educating parents on online ordering: ways to teach them how to order, how to find what they want, and how to talk about the rewards they would receive just for ordering online. We then talked about the books that their students were gobbling up  …and just kept talking. These two teachers gave me 30 minutes out of their hectic days, and they thought they were receiving help. I beg to differ. I learned so much, and was able to bring it all back to our teams here in NYC.

Thank you to these two teachers (you know who you are!), and to the thousands of teachers and parents who let us know how we can help.

Keep your ideas coming.

1-800-SCHOLASTIC &  bookclubs@scholastic.com

Literary Halloween: When Imagination Meets Reality

28 Oct

 

A Bad Case of the Stripes

Halloween is a time for goblins, witches, and black cats—but it’s also a time for Harry, Matilda, (Fancy) Nancy, Katniss, and the Frizz.

Do you and your kids or students plan to participate? Let us know which characters you think will be popular this year, and which ones you hope to see. (Pictures of your favorite costumes or innovators are welcome…they’ll help provide inspiration!)

Personally, I’m thinking I’ll be “Mouse” from If You Give a Mouse a Cookie…that way, I can carry around chocolate cookies (my favorite!) all night long.

What about my fellow Book Talkers?

Trevor: I wouldn’t dress up as this character, but it would be cool to see someone go as Ms. Frizzle.

Preeti:  I’m going to be Paddington Bear!

 

Remember, share your pictures with us to let us know how your students/kids are dressing up. Feel free to submit them after the big day!  

SBC Loves First-Time Teachers and Teachers-to-Be!

27 Oct

As a recent(ish) college grad, I have a lot of friends who are first-time teachers. They’re scattered all over—in Boston and San Francisco, in rural Pennsylvania, and in the southernmost part of Texas (hi, Sam!). I’ve been thinking about them a lot lately, because even though they’re some of the most wonderful, creative, and hardworking people I know, it’s clear that the first year of teaching is still a HUGE challenge.

Enter Scholastic Book Clubs. We know that we can’t help with all the challenges that new teachers and teachers-to-be face, but we can make it easier for you to get great, age-appropriate books for your classroom library. New teachers who sign up for Book Clubs can receive up to 25 FREE Books during their first year teaching, and Bonus Points and contests help you earn more books and curriculum tie-ins for your classroom! Plus, for those of you who are in training to become teachers, if you register on our Web site, we’ll send you info about awesome giveaways and sweepstakes so that by the time you do walk into your own classroom, you’ll have some great materials to bring with you.

But enough about us. New teachers and teachers-to-be, we want to hear from YOU about what kinds of rewards, materials, and programs you want to see available from Scholastic Book Clubs. Veteran teachers, we want to know what advice you can offer your colleagues who are just starting out in the world of teaching. And thanks again to all of you for working so hard to inspire a love of learning in your students!

This post comes to you from Liz, Guest Blogger and Recent Addition to the Book Clubs Family.

Book Clubs Nostalgia

25 Oct

Arrow Catalog, 1978

Whenever I meet people and tell them where I work, I always say (proudly!), “I work for Scholastic Book Clubs!” If they don’t immediately remember what it is, I inform them that Book Clubs is the division where we work with teachers across America, give them the flyers to pass out to the students, the students go home and talk about the books on the flyers with their parents, place their orders, and then…the iconic book boxes arrive in classrooms!

Each time I go through this explanation, it’s rare that I don’t receive a smile, a “Oh, my goodness, I remember those!”, or a “I used to circle almost every book in the flyers and beg my parents to buy them all for me!”

AWESOME Tote Bag!

Yes, we’ve enabled online ordering for teachers and parents. Yes, we’re on social media (and loving it!). But the heart of our business—partnering with teachers and parents to find the books that kids can’t wait to read—remains.

And we love walking down memory lane. Why, I even carry this AWESOME bag around NYC that features some of our older catalogs!

What do you remember about Book Clubs?

Want to walk down memory lane with a few others? Click on the links below for some other nostalgic Book Clubs bloggers.

SeeSaw Catalog, 1986

 

My new favorite: http://bit.ly/cqoDl5

And some others:

Happy Birthday to Us!

24 Sep

That’s right. The Scholastic Book Clubs Fan Page is 1 today! Woo hoo! First of all, we’d like to thank YOU! It’s because of all of you children’s book and reading enthusiasts that we are here. Without you, the page would not be the unbelievably great community it has become. It is a pleasure and a privilege to come into work every day and have such great discussions, and to be able to see teachers and parents share ideas about reading. The Facebook page is just one way we are trying to communicate with our wonderful and loyal customers. We are using Twitter and this blog as well to keep the conversation about books and reading going so no matter what platform you use, we are there for you.

To reward our loyal fans (as well as our new fans), we are giving away a box of grade-appropriate books! We want to hear why you love our page so much! Here’s how it works: To enter, be sure to comment on this post with the phrase “One thing I like about the Scholastic Book Clubs Page is…” and tell us one thing you like about our page. You must be over the age of 18 and a valid U.S. resident; click here for complete rules. You will have from today, September 24, 2010, at 12 p.m. EST until 12 p.m. EST on September 27, 2010, to enter (and only one entry per person). We’ll announce the winner on Wednesday, September 29, 2010, at 12 p.m. EST.

Reach Out and Read: Through a Doctor’s Eyes

13 Sep

A mother brought two children into our clinic. The oldest was her 4-year-old son, here for his checkup. His baby sister, only a few months old, was sleeping in her stroller. At every 4-year-old checkup, part of the doctor’s job is to make sure that child is ready to think about starting school. So I asked the little boy some questions, checking to see whether he had the social skills to talk with an adult he didn’t know very well, and whether he could put together sentences.

In fact, this particular 4-year-old was outgoing and friendly, and a terrific conversationalist. He had his Reach Out and Read book, How Do Dinosaurs Say Goodnight? He showed me that he could find the first letter of his own name on the page in several places, and then added in the first letter of his sister’s name, for good measure. And then, of course, he wanted to talk about dinosaurs. He was proud of the book.

But something occurred to him. He pointed to his baby sister and said that she wouldn’t be able to understand the book, but she could get a baby book. Yes, I said, when she comes for her next checkup, she’ll get a baby book; a board book.

Thanks to Reach Out and Read, our pediatric clinic is full of books. Reach Out and Read is a program for pediatricians like me—and our colleagues, the family physicians and nurse practitioners who take care of children at clinics and health centers and private practices all over the United States. Through Reach Out and Read, we can help parents incorporate books and reading aloud into their children’s lives, starting when those children are babies. And when students and teachers contribute books through ClassroomsCare, those books go into our clinics and back out in the hands of young children everywhere. Their support is a big part of the reason that Reach Out and Read is able to serve 4 million children through our 4,500 Programs nationwide.

Reach Out and Read gives a book at every checkup from the 6-month visit to the 5-year checkup. That’s a total of 10 books by the time a child starts kindergarten. The books that we give in the first two years are board books, which feature pictures of baby faces, animals, and familiar objects. As children get into the toddler years, the stories become more complicated, featuring the rhymes and rhythms that children love to hear again and again! And by the preschool visits, the 3- to 5-year-olds can choose storybooks and picture books rich with legends, jokes, rhymes, and information about the world.

Growing up with books in the early years helps a child understand how stories work and how to recognize letters. Children who grow up hearing books read aloud by their parents come to associate books with the feeling of safety that comes when a young child is held on a parent’s lap, and with the familiar and much-loved voice of the parent. Books should be part of bedtime routines for babies and toddlers, and part of children’s everyday lives.

Many of our patients are growing up in families where there would otherwise be no books, because many of our clinics serve children growing up in poverty. The books that we offer at the checkup can mean the difference between growing up with books and growing up without books. Through ClassroomsCare, children are helping Reach Out and Read help other children arrive at school familiar with books and all the joys they can offer. And those children, as every teacher knows, are much more likely to be ready to learn to read. And they know that books are a grand and glorious addition to their lives and their world.

So I have to admit, we jumped the gun a little. We decided to give our 4-year-old patient the opportunity to choose a baby book, in addition to his dinosaur book. We told him that he could be the one to present his baby sister with her very first book, and I went over with him (and therefore with his mother) some advice about reading with a little baby: She’ll probably chew the book, and that’s okay. Point to the pictures and tell her what everything is. Don’t get upset if she throws the book on the floor. She’s probably really interested in everything you do, I told the proud big brother, so if you look at the book with her, she’ll learn to like books, just like you!

And I told the mother what a great job she was doing, to have a son so ready for reading, a 4-year-old so clearly familiar with books. He’s going to love school, I said, wanting both the child and the mother to hear me. He’s going to love learning to read.

Perri Klass, M.D. is a pediatrician, the National Medical Director of Reach Out and Read, and a professor of journalism and pediatrics at New York University.

Remember When…

8 Sep

Happy International Literacy Day!

We love working for a company that has been a staple in schools and in the campaign for literacy for almost 90 years. Whenever we meet new people and they ask where we work their reaction is always, “I remember Book Clubs! I used to bring the flyer home and circle exactly what I wanted to buy! My whole flyer was filled with circles.”

Let’s not forget when the book box actually makes it to the classroom. “It was magical when the book box arrived. It helped reading feel like Christmas!” or “There was always a book our family could buy, which helped make me a reader!” We remember that feeling when the book box arrived and all we could think was: I can’t concentrate on math right now, teach—there is a box of books with my name on some of them and I want them NOW!

Just check out this video of students receiving the 4th Wimpy Kid book. Remember how excited you were when the book box showed up?


The strong nostalgia that resonates with adults about Scholastic Book Clubs is just one of the many things that we love about working here.

Having a job that brings excitement about books and reading to kids is a privilege. Seeing kids interact with Scholastic Book Clubs just like we used to do is the best inspiration we have to keep bringing the best books to all of you!

Share some of your memories with us! We’d love to hear them!
For more Book Clubs nostalgia, visit our friends over at On Our Minds!